Minniss, Top Pac-12 Defender
SAN FRANCISCO – For the first time this season captain Mykiaa Minniss was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week as announced by the conference office Monday afternoon. Minniss is the first Cougar to earn a weekly award in 2021 and the first since all-american Morgan Weaver earned offensive honors Nov. 5, 2019 and the first defensive award for the Cougs since Brianna Alger earned her second of the season Sept. 24, 2019. It is the second career award for Minniss who earned the award as a freshman in her second week of action in 2018.
Leading the team to a perfect 3-0 start to the new season, Minniss propelled the Cougs to a 3-0 shutout of regional rival Idaho Friday night in the Bubble, earning the team's first shutout of the year. The Cougs' defense was rarely tested, holding the Vandals to just five shots with one late attempt on goal that was easily scooped up by keeper Marissa Zucchetto.
When not dominating the defensive end, Minniss made her presence felt on the offensive end of the pitch as well as the junior made good on one of the many Cougar corners in the match, tapping home the would-be game-winner in the 44' of action. The juniors goal was reminiscent of her game-winner at South Carolina in the 2019 NCAA Tournament when she blasted the Cougs into their first College Cup. The goal against the Vandals was her third career goal while the game-winner was her second after the Gamecock winner.
The No. 15 ranked Cougars kickoff Pac-12 play Friday, Feb. 26 against Utah inside the Bubble with the first touch scheduled for 7 p.m.